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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 15-508


[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 139 ]

Seasons and Bag Limits; Wildlife Management Units

[45 Pa.B. 1381]
[Saturday, March 21, 2015]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 27, 2015, meeting proposed to amend § 139.17 (relating to wildlife management units) to expand Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 5D north and west into WMU 5C to cover more developed urban areas.

 The proposed rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for the proposed rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 The proposed rulemaking was made public at the January 27, 2015, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 6, 2015, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1. Purpose and Authority

 A uniform system of WMUs was implemented in 2003 to replace the system of multiple, species-specific management units. The primary objective of this new WMU system was to develop and implement wildlife management decisions on a system of more homogenous units based on physiographic, land cover and use, human population density and land ownership. WMU boundaries were defined using readily recognizable features on the landscape rather than hard to identify political boundaries. In 2008, the Commission conducted a 5-year evaluation of the structure of the WMU system which resulted in the development and implementation of four WMU map revisions. The Commission has again conducted an evaluation of the structure of the WMU system and is proposing to amend § 139.17 to expand WMU 5D north and west into WMU 5C to cover more developed urban areas.

 Section 322(c)(4) of the code (relating to powers and duties of commission) specifically authorizes the Commission to ''[d]efine geographic limitations or restrictions.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''[t]he commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat, permitting or prohibiting hunting or furtaking, the ways, manner, methods and means of hunting or furtaking, and the health and safety of persons who hunt or take wildlife or may be in the vicinity of persons who hunt or take game or wildlife in this Commonwealth.'' The amendments to § 139.17 are proposed under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking will amend § 139.17 to expand WMU 5D north and west into WMU 5C to cover more developed urban areas.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons wishing to hunt or trap game and wildlife in WMUs 5C and 5D may be affected by the proposed rulemaking.

4. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

5. Effective Date

 The proposed rulemaking will be effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

6. Contact Person

 For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48-376. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




§ 139.17. Wildlife management units.

 (a) The divisional line between two or more wildlife management units shall be the center of the highway, natural water course or other natural boundary.

 (b) The outline map of Pennsylvania sets forth wildlife management units.

 (Editor's Note: As part of this proposed rulemaking, the Commission is replacing the map which appears in 58 Pa. Code page 139-19, serial page (366867) with the following map.)

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-508. Filed for public inspection March 20, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]

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